Code Blue: bitter cold poses for dangerous night for Buffalo’s homeless

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Shelters around the region open their doors in cold temperatures to help the homeless, but getting them to come inside is different challenge.

But with new state mandate, ‘code blue” in effect this year, shelters wonder if the rule can be enforced.

News 4 went to the warming shelter at the Temple of Christ Church in downtown Buffalo.

They’re one of the areas’ shelters that’s taken the lead on “code blue.”

Pastor Reginald Kerr says the true difference this year, is the change in temperature from 15 degrees to 32 degrees. His staff drives around the city looking for homeless under bridges and at bus stops.

He says he’s come across people who choose not to go to a shelter, but he says his staff tends to change their mind.

Most of those who stay in this shelter say they are fans of the requirement to come inside on cold days.

Melissa Flynn and her four children stay at the women’s shelter at Temple of Christ.

She said, “I think its fantastic. It’s amazing that they even care enough to do something like that, you know for families. Because it gets pretty cold out there so I think its a fantastic thing they’re doing.”

Pastor Reginald Kerr from the Temple of Christ Church said, “I haven’t had anyone that rejected us yet. So far everyone that we went through or approached came. Some people don’t know where to go so that’s why we have our van driving around trying to find out who is out there and bring them in a warm place.”

If you’re looking for some help during the winter months, you’d like to donate or volunteer you can head to the Temple of Christ Church website. 

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